Showing posts with label baked beans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baked beans. Show all posts

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welcome Agatha Nominee Barbara Ross with a guest post

To learn more about
Barbara Ross and her
click here.

Please welcome our guest to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, the talented Barbara Ross.

The first book in Barbara's series, Clammed Up, has been nominated for the 2014 Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, and she's here today to tell us about her new entry, Boiled Over, coming out this May. 
Take it away, Barbara! 

~ Cleo

I’m happily looking forward to May 6 and the release of Boiled Over, the second book in my Maine Clambake Mystery series. 

The book takes place at the height of the summer season, when running the Snowden Family Clambake leaves little time for solving mysteries. But when a charred foot tumbles out of the clambake fire and one of Julia Snwoden’s employees is accused, she has to join the chase for the real killer.

That chase leads Julia to a camp where Mi’kmaq tribe members from Canada stay when they come to Maine to harvest the wild blueberry crop. She stays for dinner and eats these delicious camp-style beans.

“They taste something like New England baked beans,” Julia said.

“And who do you think invented those?” Her host smiled at her. “All the tribes in Maine, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick cooked beans mixed with maple syrup and bear fat in clay pots buried with hot coals.”

“The beans in this are bigger than I’m used to.”

“Soldier beans. Now grown all over, but native to this region.”

* * * * 

Baked Camp Beans

This recipe is adapted to be made at home (as opposed to at camp).


1 pound soldier beans
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3 thick slices slab bacon, chopped
3 thick slices salt pork, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large celery stalk, diced, leaves chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 quarts water
salt and pepper to taste


Soak beans for one hour. Heat oil in large saucepan. Render bacon and salt pork in oil for about three minutes. Add onion, celery, and carrot and sauté for another three-four minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for one hour. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Put beans in a bean pot or covered casserole and cook in the oven for four hours. 
(Slow Cooker Alternative: after simmering, place in a slow cooker on high for four hours.) Check occasionally. Adjust seasonings. If you think it’s necessary, remove cover for last hour of cooking to thicken.

Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of Clammed Up, which was nominated for a 2014 Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel as well as the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth. The second book in the series, Boiled Over, will be released in May 2014. Barbara’s short story, "Bread Baby" in Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold was also nominated for an Agatha Award. She writes at her home overlooking the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. You can visit Barbara’s website at

Thank you for joining us today
in the Kitchen, Barbara!

Book Giveaway

The first book in Barbara's
Clambake Mystery Series, the 2014
Agatha Nominated CLAMMED UP.

This giveaway is now closed.
The winner has been announced.
To see the announcement,

 click here.

Thank you all for your
wonderful comments!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Babs Hightower with her Grandmother's Baked Beans and Sam's Cookies!

Sam's Cookies
(Hello Dollies)

Please welcome our guest blogger, Barbara (Babs) Downey Hightower. Babs is a passionate book reviewer and blogger who is also an amazing cook. She's sharing two very special recipes with us today: one for a favorite cookie and one for her grandmother's baked beans. Take it away, Babs! 
 ~ Cleo Coyle

I am thrilled to be here with all of you today. Mystery Lovers' Kitchen is one of my favorite sites. I visit each day, so imagine my surprise when Cleo invited me to be a guest.

I love to read, but that has not always been the case. It wasn’t until high school when I had to read Rebecca, that reading caught my attention. The thriller got me hooked on mysteries from then on.

I started my website in 2008 to post my reviews for my close friends as they were always asking if I liked or even if I did not like a book. It started catching on when I asked a few authors to be guests on the site.

One day in 2010, I got to talking to Cleo about being a guest as I have always been a big fan of hers. She took me under her wing and introduced me to the blogging world. She even helped me with the title of my blog, The World of Book Reviews. I did change it to Babs World of Book Reviews as I wanted to stand out a bit more. Since then, the blog has taken off. I have had more authors contact me to be on the blog and review their books than I could ever imagine.

It might sound hard to believe, but mysteries were all I wanted to read until I started my blog. My eyes have been opened to more genres that I did not know I would enjoy. I always frowned on romances while growing up. My mom always read them. I remember her dragging me to the book exchange to turn in her old ones for new ones or the book store for the newest releases. I did not see the big hoopla of it all. Now that I look back, I wish I would have paid more attention to the book shelves when I was younger. My main genre to review is still a good old mystery.

As my husband (TJ) and I have had a recent addition to the family and since Cleo wanted to see a picture of the little fellow, I better tell you about my family.

We have 4 boys that are all adopted and all half brothers. We have Ethan 14, Logan 8, Duncan 18 months and Marco who as of today is 6 months old. We started out with Ethan who was 8 at the time and Logan who was 2. They are my babies (don’t tell Ethan). We got a call last year that the birth mom had another baby boy and would we take him. Well, of course my answer was yes. TJ and I already decided we would keep their family together if we could. So, Duncan came into the picture when he was 5 months old. I was happy with 3 boys and thought that would be it until 2 months ago. We got another call about another little boy, Marco. I never thought I would have 4 children much less 4 boys. I keep hoping for a girl one of these days, but if not, I am just as happy.

Now for the fur babies. We have 13 pets that are all rescues. We have 4 indoor cats as one just passed away. Their names are Bandit, Casper, Timber and Katie Bell. We also have 9 Siberian huskies they are, Winter, Glacier, Nanook, Avalanche, Sleet, Sapphire, Summer, Nomad and Alpine. 

We have a house full of adopted and or rescues. They all keep me on my toes. This isn’t all of the dogs of course but there is TJ holding Duncan, Logan in front of them and Nomad and Summer can’t tell who the ones are behind TJ.  --->>>

Last, but not least there's my love for cooking. My mom’s side of the family is from Georgia. Every summer and any vacation time I had from school, was spent in Georgia with my great grandmother. She cooked everything home made with no short cuts.

My mom said I was 3 years old, on a chair helping grandmother stir whatever was in the pots. She taught me a great deal about cooking and cooking with joy. She always said never treat cooking like it is a chore, if that happens you need to stop cooking. I never copied any of her recipes. I thought she would always be here.

When she passed I was 18 years old and my great uncles surprised me with all of her recipes. One of my happiest days. The most important thing my great-grandmother taught me, southern cooking isn’t just fried chicken and the fixins. It is also about lots of love.

I had so many recipes running through my mind to share. I finally narrowed it down to these two.

I love this recipe as there can be so many variations to make how you like it. This recipe is from a friend of mine.

Sam’s Cookies (Hello Dollies)

Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Oven Temp: 350 degrees F. 
Pan Size: 13 x 9


1 stick butter melted
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1 cup ( 6 oz ) chocolate chips
1 cup medium sized pecan pieces
1 cup coconut ( optional )
1 cup condensed milk

Directions: Line your 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Do not mix above ingredients. Layer each ingredient separately into your pan. Press each layer down as you would in making a pie shell. Finish top layer by spreading condensed milk over it. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes. When the cookies are done, cool, cut and peel off paper.

<< Line pan with parchment.

Layer ingredients >>

<< Finish with condensed milk.

Bake, cool, cut, and peel off paper >>

*  *  *  *  *  *

Western Baked Beans

This next recipe is from my grandmother. We like to use this recipe when we are cooking out on the grill.


2 tablespoons butter 
1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 cup water
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoon vinegar
2- 12 oz cans of any pork and beans
Bacon slices (cooked and drained)

Directions: In skillet, heat butter and brown the ground beef (or turnkey). Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 to 30 minutes. Garnish with bacon strips. I also like to add cheese and sour cream to top mine off. There are so many different ways you can.

I hope you like these 2 recipes just as much as my family does. Thank you for inviting me to be a guest today and hope to see you stop by my blog.

~ Babs


Thank You again to Babs for joining us here today.
I cannot wait to make these amazing recipes!

~ Cleo